“It really lifted us at a moment when we could have used the lifting”: Geddy Lee reveals how Robert Plant and Jimmy Page helped Rush overcome grief and loss
“Plant said, ‘Look, I’ve had my own share of loss, and you have to get on with your life, and sooner is better than later.’”
Geddy Lee, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Credit: Jeremy Chan/Denise Truscello/Kevin Mazur
Lee recently revealed that Paul McCartney had encouraged him and Lifeson to tour again as Rush despite the band deciding they would not perform again after the death of their longtime drummer Neil Peart in 2020.
Now, while on his recent book tour in the US to promote his memoir My Effin’ Life, Lee talked about the other guitar heroes who reached out to him and Lifeson while they were grieving in the past.
On the Los Angeles date of the tour, Lee recalled to host and Rush fan Jack Black that he had met Plant when they were both on holiday in Morocco in the mid ’90s and coincidentally ended up staying in bungalows in the Atlas Mountains that were facing each other
Lee and Plant met properly at dinner in the hotel, and shared stories about their travel experiences, and “hit it off really well” according to Lee, who described the former Led Zeppelin frontman as “friendly and charming.”
Lee told Black that Plant subsequently reached out to him a couple of years later, in the summer of 1998, following the death of Peart’s partner, Jacqueline Taylor. He recalled receiving a note from Rush’s management’s office saying that “some joker pretending to be Robert Plant” had phoned asking to speak with him, and had left a number for Lee to call. When Lee did so, Plant invited him to attend the upcoming Page and Plant show at Toronto’s Molson Amphitheatre on 4th July.
“I said, Look, I don’t know if I can come down, because of this bad thing that just happened,” Lee told Black. “And he said, ‘Look, I’ve had my own share of loss, and you have to get on with your life, and sooner is better than later. I want you to come down, call Alex [Lifeson] up, just come down.’ And so I called Al, and we went down to the concert, and they couldn’t have been nicer to us: Robert was just so charming, and Jimmy was great, and it really lifted us, at a moment when we could have used the lifting.”
Black then told Lee that the story had moved him because he’d never been sure what to do or whether to reach out when his friends were experiencing loss.
“That story made me feel like, yeah, it’s okay,” he told Lee, “and in fact, when people are hurting like that, a lot of times, they need you the most.”
Meanwhile, Lee also recently revealed that he had been inundated with messages from drummers offering to replace Peart in Rush rather soon after he had died.
“I heard from all kinds [of people]… That was a very weird moment. My little black book got filled up really quickly,” he said. “I was, like, ‘Whoa, that’s just so inappropriate right now,’” Lee continued. “Dude, wait two months. At least two months, if ever.’ It still happens, now that the clickbait freaks are out there talking about Alex [Lifeson] and I getting a new drummer and starting Rush again.”